After a long day of cycling yesterday and in total 9 cycling days in a row, I was happy to have a day off today and to visit the center of Dushanbe, Tajikistan’s capital.¨
After a nice breakfast we were heading first to the green bazaar, which in fact is a market with mostly fresh fruit and vegetables, but also other things like clothes, shoes, etc. After having had a limited variety of vegetables consisting mainly of tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions in the past few days while travelling through Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, it was nice to see a larger selection of vegetables again, such as eggplants, peppers, zucchini. However, since we don’t cook ourselves here in Dushanbe, we did not buy anything except some strawberries.
In the afternoon we visited the Rudaki Park, around which many of the sights of Dushanbe are located, such as the government building, the national palace, the national museum, and in the middle of the park a giant flag pole of 165 height, the flag itself is 60 x 30 m and weighs around 300 kg. Even though we have seen many supersized flags in Iran and Turkmenistan, this flag tops them all and is the most impressive attraction in the Rudaki Park.
Dushanbe – a modern city
Dushanbe itself is very modern, completely different than the whole rest of Tajikistan we have seen so far. It is clearly visible that we are in the capital with wide boulevards, trees, parks with fountains, etc. There are international cafés like Segafredo, supermarkets, restaurants, and luxury hotels. While this is completely different from rural Tajikistan, we still appreciated a change in meals and infrastructure – probably for the last time until we reach Osh or even Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan in more than 40 days. That’s also why we had dinner in an Indian restaurant today.